Cork-based author who wrote about his life as a spy, art forger and stuntman passes away

Cork-based author who wrote about his life as a spy, art forger and stuntman passes away
Author Martin Bengtsson.Picture Dan LInehan

AN author who led a colourful life which included being a spy before he moved to live in Cork has died.

Martin Bengtsson died last week, after living for several years on the Cork-Tipperary border in Araglin, near Kilworth. He was in his late 80s.

His death notice described him as a "gifted writer, actor, artist, and a true lover of all animals."

It added: "He will be sadly missed by all who knew and understood him."

The Swedish-born man had written a number of books about his colourful life, which also included stints as an art forger and smuggler, and a former diver. Among his books were Codename Rizla and If You're Not in Bed By 10 Come Home.

Martin Bengtsson with his book,"If you're not in bed by 10, come home " /.Picture Dan LInehan
Martin Bengtsson with his book,"If you're not in bed by 10, come home " /.Picture Dan LInehan

Codename Rizla, published in 2017, detailed that he had started out as a bank clerk before escaping that and becoming involved in cigarette smuggling for the Mafia. It also chronicled his time as a bodyguard for a Saudi prince, gunrunning for African rebels, and being part of a CIA high squad and an MI5 spy.

In July 2018, he had an idea to help rescue the 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand and contacted the Thai embassy in relation to it.

Martin Bengtsson, writer and adventurer. Picture : Eddie O'Hare
Martin Bengtsson, writer and adventurer. Picture : Eddie O'Hare

At the time, he told The Echo: "I have lived a very varied life. I have been in very tricky situations over the years — so I really do know what I am talking about. I am 87 now and beyond the actual diving myself but I have the knowledge to help these boys.” His memoirs included stories of being a stuntman in Western films, as well as being a spy and an art forger.

A private cremation took place.

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